Swimming Pool and Hot Tub Discharge Requirements

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Even at extremely low amounts the chemicals used to maintain pools and hot tubs can hurt plants and aquatic life in our rivers.  In the Wenatchee Valley many of the storm drain systems drain directly to the Columbia River.  Care should be taken when draining a swimming pool or hot tub to minimize the effects on the environment. 

Pool and Spa Chemicals

  • Chlorine - Chlorine is used to sanitize swimming pools.  It is very toxic to fish, it damages their gills causing the fish to drown.
  • Bromine - Bromine is also used to sanitize swimming pools, but it does not break down over time like chlorine does.  In high doses it causes many of the same effects to fish as chlorine.
  • Copper - Copper is used to kill algae in the filter system.  It is very toxic to fish and can cause reproductive problems as well as tissue damage.  Copper may also kill the algae that aquatic life need to eat.
  • pH - pH is a measurement of how acidic or basic the water is.  Fish have a pretty narrow range of tolerance before they die.  The ideal pH for aquatic life is between 7 and 8.  Many times the pH in a pool is within this range.  However small rapid changes in pH, from draining your pool, can cause serious health problems or death for aquatic life.
  • Temperature - Pool water can be very warm compared to river water.  The sudden shift in temperature caused by draining pool water can affect the health and survival of aquatic life.

Discharge Requirements
 


Swimming Pool Water
Homeowner's
Property
Okay to discharge *
Street/Storm
Drain System
Only allowed if the following requirements are met:
1.) The chlorine must be reduced to a level of less than 0.1 mg/L
2.) The water must be pH adjusted and re-oxygenated if necessary
     to comply with Washington State water quality standards.
3.) The volume and velocity of the water must be controlled to
     prevent re-suspension of sediment in the street and
     storm drain system.
Sewer System Not allowed to discharge.  Please call during normal business hours
 if you have questions.  In Wenatchee call 888-3235 and in
Douglas County call 884-1283.

* Note - Water flowing from your property into the street would be considered a discharge to the stormwater system and must meet the requirements listed above.  Also, allowing water to run onto your neighbor's property could result in a civil dispute. In addition, discharges to the ground may fall under the Underground Injection Control Program (Chapter 173-218 WAC) which is administered by the WA State Department of Ecology.  For more information, please contact the regional Ecology office at (509) 575-2490 or visit www.ecy.wa.gov.

 


Filter Backwash Water
Homeowner's   
Property
Okay to Discharge * (see note above)    

Street/Storm
Drain System

Not allowed to Discharge
Sewer
System
Not allowed to discharge. Please call during normal business hours
if you have questions. In Wenatchee call 888-3235 and in
Douglas County call 884-1283.

Waste Water from pool construction
or resurfacing
Homeowner's
Property
Okay to Discharge * (see note above)

Street/Storm
Drain System

Not allowed to Discharge
Sewer System  Not allowed to discharge. Please call during normal business hours
if you have questions. In Wenatchee call 888-3235 and in
Douglas County call 884-1283.

 Questions? Please call ...

  • In Chelan County call 667-6415
  • In the City of Wenatchee call 888-3235
  • In Douglas County or the City of East Wenatchee call 886-3728